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NSW: Teenager with no record jailed for graffiti

02 Feb 2009 5:56 PM

SYDNEY, Feb 2 AAP - An 18-year-old woman with no criminal record has been jailed for three months for writing one word of graffiti on the wall of an inner-Sydney cafe.

Cheyene Back, from Daceyville, admitted using a black Texta marker to write "2shie", a word which was 30cm high and 60cm in length.

In the Downing Centre Local Court on Monday, Magistrate Ian McRae jailed her for three months, but another magistrate later granted her unconditional bail pending an appeal.

She pleaded guilty to intentionally or recklessly damaging a brick wall, the property of Hyde Park Cafe, between 11.50pm and 11.55pm (AEDT) on January 11, 2009.

The cafe is seeking $200 compensation.

According to the police facts sheet, Back had been with a co-accused, a 22-year-old man, and five other people when CCTV footage captured the man holding the marker and writing graffiti, approximately 50cm high and 70cm in length.

"The wording of the graffiti was unable to be identified," the facts said.

He was then seen to hand over the marker to Back, who wrote 2shie before returning it to the co-accused who wrote some more graffiti, again unable to be identified.

Police then went to the scene and arrested the pair.

Back's appeal is listed for March 4 in the NSW District Court.

Her sentence comes two days after the NSW government launched a new campaign to combat graffiti, saying it costs about $100 million a year to clean it up.

Acting Police Minister Kristina Keneally said on Saturday the government was cracking down on people who sprayed graffiti.

Measures were in place such as making it an offence for businesses to sell spray paint to people under 18 and giving police the power to confiscate spray paint from unsupervised juveniles, she said.